Photo of the Week # 4: Engagement
7 weeks to International Women's Day

Erin Lubin/CARE 2010

“Seeing women, particularly those whose voices had largely been silenced due to marginalization or social norms, actively engaged in ensuring that governments and health systems are accountable to the people they serve, has been one of the most inspiring aspects of my work with CARE... and what I believe will ultimately lead to sustainable improvements in sexual, reproductive and maternal health (SRMH). These voices are critical to understanding the barriers – structural and community – to improving SRMH, to identifying ways to overcome them and to ensuring that agreed upon actions are taken.

It was seeing this work in person in Peru that convinced me of the truly transformative nature of engagement – for the women and the community. I had the opportunity to meet women who were trained to be “citizen monitors”. After learning about their rights, they visited health facilities to report on the good and bad of what they saw, then worked in partnership with the government and health facilities to create a plan of action to address any problems identified. One woman explained to me that prior to this work, she barely left her home and did not engage in community meetings. She was now a leader in her community – she taught people about their health rights, was elected into a local leadership position and was ensuring that women’s voices were being heard. Her voice was part of a powerful chorus of voices that was working to improve health and bring lasting change to her community.” --Jodi K.

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